- Increase Application Frequency SLOWLY.
- Begin applying the product only once to twice-a-week (1x- to 2x-a-week).
- As skin becomes used to therapy, very slowly increase to 3x-a-week, then once-every-other-day. Very slowly, keep increasing the frequency of applications till you can tolerate 1x-a-day and finally 2x-a-day applications (no earlier than week 8 of therapy).
- More Is Not Necessarily Better: applying more of a product at one time does not necessarily equate to increased efficacy and can lead to irritations.
- For active creams, a thin film of cream that can be quickly absorbed by the skin is usually appropriate.
- For active toners, application is usually best with a 100% pure cotton ball or pad. You want the cotton applicator moist, not soaked through and dripping wet with the product.
Think Gentle When Cleansing
Excessive cleansing with harsh cleansers or soaps can dry out the skin, making any therapy impossible, or making the skin feel taut and uncomfortable. Too much cleansing can also dry out the skin.
A cleanser with scrubs can be a great thing (it can provide good surface exfoliation and dislodge pore-clogging dirt) so long as it is non-comedogenic and the scrubbing is done gently.
Cleansing twice (2x) a day, plus after working out or when removing make-up, is really all you need.
When using a cleanser with scrubs, do not press down while scrubbing, rub too fast or vigorously, or scrub any one area of skin for longer than 1 to 2 seconds at a time.
- Choose higher values:
Protection values are usually determined by testing about a shot-glass full of product, assuming coverage for exposed skin. With improper application (more common in real life), actual SPFs drop (studies have shown as low as half the claimed value and even less). This is one of the main reasons VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® Armada Sun + Light Screens offer higher SPFs and PFAs (protection factor against UVA): risk management. Higher factors help ensure that you’re getting adequate protection even if your application isn’t always perfect.
- Reapply Frequently:
Your skin is a dynamic layer which absorbs some of your sunscreen’s ingredients, especially when the skin is really sweaty or wet. When this happens, less of the protective ingredients are on the surface of the skin where they need to be to do their job.
Regardless of a sunscreen’s claims, guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology suggest reapplying your sunscreen:
- Every 1 to 2 hours and
- After water immersion, sweating, or toweling off.
- Avoid The Sun:
The same guidelines recommend complete sun avoidance as much as possible, especially between 10:00 and 16:00 (10AM and 4PM), for the photosensitive, and for children under two years of age.
We make great sunscreens but our greater love is skin: please practice sun avoidance as much as possible.
- Use Daily, Both Indoors and Outdoors:
The latest research in photo-dermatology shows that even indoor lights (UVA, Visible, and Infrared Lights) can cause melasma, or other hyperpigmentations (dark spots or blotches on the skin). Uncovered fluorescents, halogens, some display lights, even computers screens and saunas can cause or worsen melasma.
The daily use of sunscreens indoors has been promoted by VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® since 2002, and our Armada sun and light screens are tested specifically for indoor and outdoor light protection. When indoors, reapplying is not usually necessary unless you have sweated after commuting, for example.
In addition, as much as 50% of UV light can get to you through windows plus accidental exposure (when crossing the street, from reflective surfaces, etc.). As long as there’s light (and through windshields, that’s a lot of light), there is potential for damage.
We’re exposed to light a lot more than we think we are every day. Take winter as an example. It’s cold and you’re bundled up, but the sun’s rays can still get to what little skin remains visible. If you’re in a place with snow, you have to factor in the reflected glare, too. Imagine the increase in exposure when it’s warm out, you’re outdoors more and you’re wearing less.
Unfortunately, many people forget that their skin is receiving light if they don’t feel the heat so acutely. UVA, which is extremely damaging, doesn’t burn as quickly as UVB…so you could be baking and not know it. This is why some people are surprised when their dermatologists find carcinomas and other sun-induced skin damage even if they feel they “never go out in the sun”. Just your daily coffee run, all year round, can mean enough repetitive accidental sun exposure to, over time, put you at risk of serious skin damage.
To be safe from UVA, UVB, Visible and even Infrared Light—from the sun as well as indoor lights from computers and regular house lights (halogens, fluorescents, etc.)—slather on the sunscreen indoors and outdoors, and all year round.
General Best Practices for Product Care and Proper Usage:
- We omit allergens but you may be sensitive to an ingredient that is not an allergen. To be sure, especially if you have a history of skin sensitivity, try a VMV Provisional Patch Test (for a few hours to 72 hours if you’re very sensitive) before purchasing.
- When using multiple products, try them one at a time, with at least three (3) days in between.
- While it is our policy not to discourage people from using products that work for them, please keep in mind that the more products you use, especially if they come from different companies, the higher the risk of an unexpected cross reaction.
- When starting new products or if skin is irritated, a 7-Day Skin Fast might help.
- Note that if you are experiencing a flare-up, even plain water can sting. If you are currently experiencing a flare-up, avoid using any product on the skin and consult your dermatologist.
- Store products in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
- Do not expose products to or store them in extreme temperatures or conditions.
- Do not introduce water, removed portions of product or other substances into container.
- Keep out of reach of children (products for children should be applied by adults).
- Unless otherwise clearly stated, our products are for external use only.
- If a product comes into contact with eyes, flush out with plenty of water.
- In the unlikely event of an adverse reaction, stop using the product immediately and consult a physician.
- For all things skin: consult your dermatologist.
- For all things baby: consult your pediatrician.
- For all things pregnancy: consult your OB-GYN.
- For products with active ingredients, it is very important to:
- Increase application frequency very slowly. Start only 1x- to 2x-a-week at most. Very slowly, increase to 3x-a-week, then once-every-other-day, etc. until you achieve 1x- or 2x-a-day applications (no earlier than week 8 of therapy). See your product’s brochure or label for an Application Frequency Chart.
- Use a pH-adjusted Cleanser formulated specifically for use with active treatments.
- Apply an indoor-outdoor sun + light screen like Armada every day, indoors and outdoors, and whether or not your active product has been applied on a given day.